Posted by on 31 May 2013 | 0 Comments

Somewhere under the ball: the current location of WP schools rugby's name

In 1488 Bartlomeu Dias named this part of the world the Cape of Storms, based, of course, on the prevailing meteorological conditions he experienced on his arrival Little could he have known how true his words would prove to be, time and again, over the intervening years.

Right now all hell is breaking loose as schoolboy rugby aficionados struggle to come to terms with even more mind-numbing selections than they have come to expect for the senior provincial age-group teams that will represent the region during the coming school holidays.

Agreed, enough man-hours have already been expended on commenting, for want of a euphemistic term, on the subject to render further contributions mere repetition, but a few questions require candid answers if the shaky credibility and integrity of the WPHSRU is to remain unscathed. If these can be answered, one might just be able to understand the thought processes involved.

Regarding the selection of the Grant Khomo side

1. Simple one: How on earth is it possible to justify the inclusion of only one player, and in the reserves at that, from a Paul Roos Under 16 group that has still to be beaten in the last 20 months ?

Regarding the selection of the Craven Week and Academy Week sides

Here some inside information will have to be very carefully phrased for obvious reasons.

At the trials, on having one of his players praised for his performance on the day, a selector/coach stated, and I quote, “He’s only the third best in that position at our school”. Well, the player is among the 44 selected, but

2. If the coach felt the player wasn’t nearly the best his school had to offer, how – apart from on very real political grounds – can this selector justify the player’s consideration for selection for the teams ?

On being approached early this week as to the reason for Paarl Boys’ High 2nd XV losing to the Grey Cherries 12-84, an informed source observed that half the players seemed to be “playing for themselves”. One can reasonably assume that these were the ones who had been dropped from the 1st XV a few weeks earlier and who were understandably extremely keen to return there.

3. How could players who so obviously put their own considerations ahead of those of the team – and did so with such astonishingly ineffective results – not only remain in consideration for selection, but, in several cases, get the nod for the Craven Week team ?

4. If the CW team had, as it seems, been finalized prior to last weekend’s games, why did the selectors then need another meeting on Monday ?

5. If the meeting on Monday evening did play a part in the selection process, surely the above players should immediately have been removed in sanity’s best interests ?

The meeting presumably should have taken notice of, for instance, Schickerling’s injury, the above and the fact that one prop’s appearance at the trials was his first competitive rugby in five weeks (and he didn’t play on Saturday either).

6. If I know that, shouldn’t they have made it their business to know it too ?

Now several players who couldn’t care about the concept “team” have been entrusted with the task not just of caring about, but enhancing our province’s name.

Regarding the publication of the teams

When I approached the relevant person late last week about when the teams would be released, I was informed that I would get them “as soon as the schools had been informed”.

Not being the particularly trusting type, I arranged with one school to forward the teams to me as soon as they got them.

Just as well, it turns out: as I write this on Thursday afternoon, some 52 after the schools received the teams, the press has still not been sent the details. When Sarel Burger, undeniably the senior schools rugby journalist in the province, enquired about this oversight, he was told by someone close to the process that the teams “had not been released to the media because there was still the possibility of changes (due to injury, I hope) and “the final team sheets would in all likelihood be circulated on Friday”.

7. So why were the “teams” released to anybody – in this case, the schools – at all, if it was common knowledge that they were going to have to be changed ?

8. How do all concerned think a boy who now finds himself drafted into one of the teams as what everybody will be well aware is some sort of last resort feels ?

The whole affair has been handled shabbily and farcically. Whichever way you look at it, the officials and selectors appear totally incompetent. Would you trust them to run a bath, let alone a sports body ?


Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments